Pastor’s Welcome Message

Rev. Kathleen Wilder


My name is Kathleen Wilder and I have the honor of serving God with the amazing people of Lafayette Park / Centenary as their pastor.

My most authentic self is female so I use the pronouns of she and her.

I am a widow of 9 years, a mother of three children, and we are a bi-racial family. We are a mix of biological and foster /adoption. I have a large family of choice that enriches my life.

Why is this important? Believe it or not there are some people who believe that you have to look churchy, talk churchy, act churchy to be part of a church. Some think that you have to have the right history, the right family make up, the educational experience, or financial means to be able to be a part of a church.

Well, I am not churchy. I don’t fit many of those boxes that people think are requirements to fit into a church. If I have the privilege of getting to know you, you will certainly agree that I am a different kind of soul.

The truth is Lafayette Park/Centenary is a faith community that welcomes and treasures everyone. Especially those of us that don’t fit society’s definition of who churchy people should be. We all look different, think, and act differently. None of us are perfect and that is great! It makes gathering together to learn more about our Creator and each other easier when we can just be ourselves.

We welcome each other just like Jesus welcomes us – as we are. The only thing that isn’t welcomed in our community is hate or symbols of hate. If you breathe you are welcome. If you have difficulty breathing we will try our best to help you breathe better.

My passions are justice and mission. I believe that God created all of us and grieves about the inequities that exist in our world. It doesn’t fit God’s plan or vision for the community that God originally created. So we are active in working for justice and making the world better for the community around us.

If you are someone that wants to make a difference, check out our site and see ways that you can join us in our work to care for creation, people, and justice.

I am called to bind up the wounded. Many people join us after their world has blown up through death, divorce, loss of job, etc. The beauty is that you are safe with us in that moment and cared for. We support you through care and patience. We understand that who you are is a part of the image of God and we are more complete as a community when you are part of us, no matter where you are on your life journey.

If you are perfect and your life is perfect you are welcome to. But you don’t have to feel pressure to be perfect all the time. You can just be with us.

If you are looking for a group that doesn’t fit the institutional church mode check us out. We gather on Sunday mornings at 9:30am at 2300 Lafayette Ave, St. Louis, MO 63104. We are also active during the week through our mission and outreach.

I hope to get to meet you some day.

May your day be filled with joy!


Rev. Kathleen Wilder
Senior Pastor
Lafayette Park UMC


As a people of faith, we recognize the diversity of people created in the image of God. We welcome to this congregation people of any age, gender, race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, health status and any element of humanity created by God.

LPUMC Church Council, January 1998

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